Influenza A virus inhibits alveolar fluid clearance in BALB/c mice

Kendra E. Wolk, Eduardo R. Lazarowski, Zachary P. Traylor, Erin N.Z. Yu, Nancy A. Jewell, Russell K. Durbin, Joan E. Durbin, Ian C. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Rationale: Pulmonary infections can impair alveolar fluid clearance (AFC), contributing to formation of lung edema. Effects of influenza A virus (IAV) on AFC are unknown. Objectives: To determine effects of IAV infection on AFC, and to identify intercellular signaling mechanisms underlying influenza-mediated inhibition of AFC. Methods: BALB/c mice were infected intranasally with influenza A/WSN/33 (10,000 or 2,500 focus-forming units per mouse). AFC was measured in anesthetized, ventilated mice by instilling 5% bovine serum albumin into the dependent lung. Measurements and Main Results: Infection with high-dose IAV resulted in a steady decline in arterial oxygen saturation and increased lung water content. AFC was significantly inhibited starting 1 hour after infection, and remained suppressed through Day 6. AFC inhibition at early time points (1-4 h after infection) did not require viral replication, whereas AFC inhibition later in infection was replication-dependent. Low-dose IAV infection impaired AFC for 10 days, but induced only mild hypoxemia. High-dose IAV infection increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid ATP and UTP levels. Impaired AFC at Day 2 resulted primarily from reduced amiloride-sensitive AFC, mediated by increased activation of the pyrimidine-P2Y purinergic receptor axis. However, an additional component of AFC impairment was due to activation of A 1 adenosine receptors and stimulation of increased cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator-mediated anion secretion. Finally, IAV-mediated inhibition of AFC at Day 2 could be reversed by addition of β-adrenergic agonists to the AFC instillate. Conclusions: AFC inhibition may be an important feature of early IAV infection. Its blockade may reduce the severity of pulmonary edema and hypoxemia associated with influenza pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


  • Adenosine
  • Ion transport
  • Orthomyxovirus infections
  • Pneumonia, viral
  • Pulmonary edema


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